How to be a landlord

It sounds so easy! Buy a house or flat, find a tenant and sit back and watch the pounds roll into your bank account, perhaps even tell the tax man so he can help himself to some of it.

But what does a potential landlord need to know to be sure that letting is a rewarding experience for all, avoiding the nightmare scenarios that are often highlighted in the media. Let’s look at a basic list of considerations:

Which property to choose? Should I focus on income or capital growth? What is the overall objective?

Is the property lettable and what price, and to whom?

Is it legally compliant and safe? What should be considered when assessing this?

Will the property require a great deal of maintenance in the future, can I do this, or are there suitable contractors available?

Do I have the legal, practical, letting and marketing knowledge to do this, or will I need a professional to deal with this complex range of subjects?

If things do not work as hoped, do I have the benefit of a team of professionals to deal with the legalities?

Do I genuinely know the answers to these questions?

Choosing a professional letting agent to advise on all the above is the most important decision a landlord can make. Selecting a member of the trade body, The Association of Residential Letting Agents, (ARLA) will provide assurance about the quality of service and the high level of training that is necessary to successfully negotiate the complexities and legalities of letting.

Penyards Property Management Managing Director Alan Davis, comments: “The market for letting property is growing and many new people are entering it every day, some with real knowledge and skill, but many with few transferrable skills or knowledge to keep them on…